[EDITORIALS]Drive out violence in schoolsThe principal of a school where students produced videos of themselves bullying their classmates committed suicide. Perhaps the principal wanted to assume all responsibility after the distribution of the video clips agonized family members of the tortured boy and school officials.
Although the exact cause of the suicide remains to be disclosed, it is not too much to say that school violence has led to the principal’s death. We must take this case as a lesson and turning point upon which we must establish fundamental measures to foster an education scene that does not include classroom bullying.
School violence prevails in our classrooms nationwide as elementary, middle and high school students engage in it in groups with no sense of guilt, as if they are involved in some kind of play. Recently, Iljinhoi, a school club consisting of students who were good at fistfights, established connections with other schools and grew into a network that exercised violence on the same level as adult gangs. Research results show that 40 percent of all students have been targets of violence.
It is shocking that bullied students who request assistance from parents or teachers receive little help and become targets of revenge. Parents may think “my kid’s okay” and teachers may think there are no violent students in their schools, but this has only sheltered violence and caused it to expand further. Also, it is no help that students ignore violence even after witnessing it because they are afraid they will become victims as well.
School violence has become so serious that it is difficult to tell the difference between schools and back alleys. We must be on our guard against the seeds of social evil being sown in our youth.
Above all, we must do away with the cowardly attitude of teachers who try to cover up or remain spectators of school violence because they fear for their positions. If teachers look at evil and turn away, what hope can we pin on our future generations? Private cram schools have stolen public education. Now, if we don’t have the strength to protect our children, there is no reason for schools to exist. Teachers, police and prosecutors should take the initiative and begin an extensive campaign to drive out school violence and bullying.